Twenty-two of the 38 government-run special accounts for such services as labor insurance and postal savings have posted estimated deficits totaling some 10.48 trillion yen for fiscal 2000, according to government financial documents made available Sunday.
The deficits are expected to total 10.476 trillion yen in the year up to March 31, according to financial statements compiled by government ministries and agencies based on guidelines set by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Administrative Reform Promotion Headquarters.
It was the first time the government has disclosed the flow of funds in the accounts in substantial detail. The new LDP guidelines employed stricter methods on par with accounting yardsticks used by private companies, to assess the special accounts.
A special account for distribution of shared tax to local governments is expected to have posted the largest deficit — about 4.285 trillion yen — of the 22 accounts. The deficit is due to the central government subsidizing local governments beyond the income provided by national taxes.
The second-largest deficit, some 1.524 trillion yen, is expected to have been posted at a special labor insurance account, mainly due to underwriting reserve.
The postal savings operation is estimated to have posted a deficit of 1.212 trillion yen due to interest payments made to customers.
Meanwhile, special accounts for welfare insurance and the Trust Fund Bureau are expected to post surpluses.
Based on the financial statements, the government and the ruling camp are planning to study the possibility of scrapping and privatizing public corporations, which are funded from the special accounts, government sources said.
The government and the ruling parties might also further review the LDP guidelines to make them even stricter, for instance to clarify the flow of funds from public corporations to their affiliates, the sources said.
Credits as stimulus
Economic minister Heizo Takenaka said Sunday the government may sell credits extended by government-affiliated financial institutions to the private sector as a stimulus step.
Speaking on a TV Asahi program, Takenaka said the government will not depend on public works projects or the additional issuance of government bonds if the economy deteriorates further in and after September.
“It is possible to sell credits financed by government-affiliated financial institutions to the private sector,” Takenaka said.
“The government then will have money without issuing government bonds and raising taxes and will have energy enough to use the money to revitalize the economy,” he said.
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